Karen Marie Moning is best known for her romances blending historical, paranormal, time travel, and fantasy elements. Some authors are successful with such hybrids while others aren’t. I think Moning falls into the former category, at least with Bloodfever.
Bloodfever is the second novel in Moning’s new series, after Darkfever, so there’s a fair amount of world building going on. Though I recognized it as a ploy to catch up the uninformed reader, it was actually handled quite well, and never overt or annoying.
Mac Lane is in Ireland on the trail of her sister’s murderer. Though she grew up a good girl, a modern Southern Belle, she has undergone some major growth in the last little while, discovering not only a whole world of Fae, but that she has special powers and the ability to sense the Sinsar Dubh, an ancient book containing the blackest magic imaginable. She must find it to balance the power between the worlds of Fae and humanity.
This story is told in the first person, which I recognize as an overused tool to drag readers into the story immediately. Doesn’t matter, I still fall for it. It helps that Mac’s voice is very compelling, and that, though she’s learning fast, she’s nowhere near as competent as she’d like to be. Mac screws up. She makes mistakes. She feels insecure and vulnerable and out of her depth. And though I’ve never gone chasing after the unseelie, those are nonetheless feelings I can relate to.
This is definitely an urban fantasy, with very little in the way of romance, though there are two men in Mac’s life that might eventually fit the bill of romantic lead. The first is a fairy with the Seelie court, a prince, V’lane. The second is Jericho Barrens, Mac’s landlord and boss. Both want to use her for their own needs, however, and Mac is just not feeling all that trusting right now.
As I was reading this novel, I was completely swept up in the story, and, as I said, the first person narrative was incredibly compelling. However, once I finished it and put it down, the story started to fade almost immediately. Even as I sit here, three days after finishing the book, I remember that I really enjoyed it, but had to use the dust jacket and a quick skim for the plot summary. I would certainly pick up the first, or the next in this series, but I might wait until paperback.